Travel figures point to surge in infections

Latest travel data shows up to 1.1 million people flew around the Thanksgiving holiday. Health officials warn of a 'surge upon a surge' in coronavirus cases as a result.


National News

December 1, 2020 - 9:47 AM

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Photo by (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Abaca Press/TNS)

Coronavirus infections are already reaching unprecedented levels throughout the U.S. Now with Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and Christmas and New Year’s just around the curve, the question is: Just how much worse is the pandemic going to get?

The latest travel data out Monday suggest that things are looking grim. Between 800,000 and 1.1 million people flew in the days leading up to and after the holiday, according to data released by the Transportation Safety Administration. Though those numbers are a fraction of typical Thanksgiving travel patterns, they are far higher than public health officials and epidemiologists hoped to see.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the U.S. may be about to see “a surge upon a surge.” On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that Americans who traveled this past week should “assume that you were exposed and you became infected.” She urged those that traveled to get tested within the next week.

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